microsoft

Wed
05
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Windows Genuine Advantage: The Lowdown

With Peer to Peer (P2P) networks keeping the piracy market flooded with illegal applications, songs, and movies, Microsoft is making a complicated and confusing attempt to limit rip-offs of its own merchandise through its latest anti-piracy program ... dubbed, "Windows Genuine Advantage", or "WGA" for short. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the WGA program has attracted much scrutiny from security experts in recent weeks. So, what's all the Hoopla about? According to Microsoft's website, the Windows Genuine Advantage (seen next to the smiling, comforted young woman) is in place to assure paying ... (view more)

Tue
04
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Why Spy? Reasons Behind WGA and Microsoft's Alleged 'Spying'

With Microsoft's recent release of the anti-piracy program Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), the technological world has been given the task of understanding this confusing and complex system intended to root out hackers trying to crack the Big M's ... merchandise. On one hand: Microsoft promises that WGA protects the user by allowing non-pirates easy access to Windows updates, downloads, and special offers. On the other hand: Industry insiders contend that WGA is a hack by Microsoft itself -- a program that deceptively infiltrates home and office computers to spy on the average Joe's every move. ... (view more)

Sun
02
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) Under Fire

As the technological world tries to grasp the meaning of Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), the Redmond-based company is coming under intense scrutiny and outright attacks. WGA, an initiative meant to combat piracy, has been causing ... problems with the computers that install it -- even those that aren't owned by pirates -- and allegedly acts much like a malware device, sending information back to Microsoft. Frustration with WGA and its incessant security warnings led to last week's crack by Guillaume Kaddouch, a French-based developer who design and market firewall programs. A ... (view more)

Fri
23
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

I Quit: Microsoft Executives Exit En Masse

Just a few weeks after the major release of its new security system (OneCare Live) and hours after the launch of Windows Live Messenger, Microsoft has lost two of its most recognizable executives: corporate vice president Martin Taylor and original ... Xbox team member Ted Hase. Hase was a co-creator of Microsoft Media Center, and a major reason for its connectivity with the Xbox 360. After sixteen years with Microsoft, Hase may have been tempted by greener pastures. Although there is no clear reason given for his resignation, he admitted, "It's only recently become known that I was leaving ... (view more)

Thu
22
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

Windows Live Office: Overview

The Windows Live initiative is a fascinating adventure which I've written about previously and includes many different products: mostly online tools. See: Windows Lives beyond Your Computer in 'Web 2.0' Windows Live: Is it Worth It? Windows Live: Is ... it Worth It?, Part 2 In coming months, we will be seeing familiar things taking on this new name and offer additional features. Spaces at MSN (an entity in the blogging industry) is due to morph into "Live Spaces", and the beloved MSN Messenger will be transforming to "Live Messenger." In this article, I want to overview ... (view more)

Thu
22
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

Robots: a Buzzword in Today's Technological News

Maybe the Styx really were onto something. Decades after the song "Mr. Roboto" changed the definition of bad dancing, robots are once again at the center of technological news. Recent headlines have outlined the increasing role robots may play in ... the future of North American life, from Microsoft software to national defense. There are a few definitions of robots: yesterday Microsoft released the basic outline for a platform that would use system tools, including browsers, programming formats, and operating systems similar to those used for the artificial intelligence in robots. Microsoft is ... (view more)

Tue
20
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

Forced to Reactivate Windows after Hardware Change?

Infopackets Reader Les M. writes: " Dear Dennis, In December 2003, I purchased a copy of Windows XP Home Edition as part of an upgrade to my PC (main board, processor, RAM, etc), from a local dealer in the UK. This software cost me over $100.00 US ... dollars. During the subsequent time, I have on several occasions had to format my hard drive and reload Windows, due to otherwise insoluble problems. As you probably already know, every time a fresh copy of Windows XP is reloaded, you are required to activate it online within 30 days. Two or three days ago, I switched on my PC as usual and waited ( ... (view more)

Wed
14
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Modifies WGA Tool Following Spyware Allegations

Microsoft has changed a major "feature" found in its Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) software, after receiving an onslaught of complaints from end users. The criticism is in regard to the program's daily check-ins with the company's servers; now, ... the tool will dial home in 14-day intervals instead of after every system boot. (Source: techtree.com ) Microsoft opted to change the frequency of the WGA check-ins after receiving allegations that the behavior of their software reached the level of Spyware status. Lauren Weinstein, cofounder of People for Internet Responsibility, recently ... (view more)

Wed
07
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

Adobe Expected to Sue Microsoft

Adobe Systems, Inc. is expected to file an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft due to a dispute over Microsoft's use of Adobe's PDF (Portable Document Format) software. Microsoft's Office suite currently includes PDF support, but Adobe wants its ... software to be removed and offered for a fee. The widely used PDF software allows users to create electronic documents and books. Microsoft previously included PDF support in test versions of Office 2007, but has opted to remove PDF from the suite entirely. (Source: macworld.com ) Instead, Microsoft is integrating its own PDF/Postscript competitor, ... (view more)

Tue
06
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Offers 'Vision' in the Battle for Next-Gen Gaming

As hype over the Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) and Nintendo Wii (pronounced "We") continue to threaten Microsoft's current hold over "next-gen" systems, the latter is preparing for the Fall and Winter battle by incorporating proven hardware. Featuring ... technology manufactured by GestureTek, the Xbox Live Vision Camera will allow Xbox 360 owners with an online connection to customize their gamer tags, engage in video conversations, and most importantly play interactive games that move beyond the joystick. Much like Sony's popular EyeToy, the Xbox Live Vision Camera (set for release ... (view more)

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